Tag Archives: Marlene O’Brien

Walk Right In, It’s Around the Back, Glenda’s Restaurant

The final production of the summer season has opened at The Charlottetown Festival — a hot new matinee show that offers a taste of the Island, literally and culturally. Starring P.E.I. actress and accomplished chef Glenda Landry, Glenda’s Kitchen is sponsored by CAA, and plays select dates in Studio 1 at Confederation Centre until August 26.

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Glenda Landry is a 45-year veteran of The Charlottetown Festival, having shone for many seasons in Avonlea as Diana and later Mrs. Pye, among others, and in Centre productions such as The Kitchen Witches and Wizard of Oz. The Island native has also moonlighted for years as a chef, having completed the apprenticeship program at the Culinary Institute and plied her second trade alongside Chef Emily Wells at The Dunes and at Sim’s in Charlottetown.

This summer she leads a talented kitchen party cast, including fellow Islanders and Festival veterans Charlotte Moore, Marlane O’Brien, and Hank Stinson, all backed by the 12-piece Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, as they cook up the best kind of seafood chowder — a bowl with a story behind it. Glenda’s Kitchen plays Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. and concludes with a steaming bowl of chowder with an Island biscuit for every audience member.

Offering a bounty of songs, stories, and soup, Glenda’s Kitchen is directed by Artistic Director Adam Brazier and co-written by Brazier and Stinson. Musical direction and arrangements are by Scott Christian, and stage management is from Al Gadowsky.

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Island Strong Anne Opens

The curtain lifted last night at 7:30 p.m. on an especially Island-strong edition of the long-running musical Anne of Green Gables. Jessica Gallant of Ten Mile House, P.E.I. stars as the world-famous orphan, with Charlottetown’s Hank Stinson and Aaron Hastelow as Matthew Cuthbert and Gilbert Blythe. This marks the first time an Islander has played Gilbert in the historic production, and thus the first time both romantic leads have been played by locals.

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Festival veteran Marlane O’Brien, of Crapaud, P.E.I. plays iconic busy-body, Miss Rachel Lynde, while Dora Award-winner Charlotte Moore reprises her turn as Marilla Cuthbert. New Island home-owner Katie Kerr returns to the role that first brought her to the Festival, as Diana Barry, and another Festival favourite and ‘Islander-by-choice’, Josée Boudreau debuts as Miss Stacey.

The creative team that brought the Guinness Record-holding musical to life last season has returned in 2016, with Wade Lynch in the director’s chair alongside Musical Director Bob Foster and Choreographer Robin Calvert.

“With a history that has enjoyed success under some of the country’s greatest directors, and that has benefited from the talents of legions of actors, musicians, designers, technicians, and theatre artisans of every stripe, it is no small task to approach a new season with the responsibility of maintaining the high standards of previous productions while attempting to bring something new to the play and the story,” says Lynch, who performed in many seasons of the beloved musical himself.

“That said, we must never treat our production as an antique; Anne is new every time the curtain goes up,” he continues. “When Anne Shirley arrives at Bright River she is not only encountering the possibility of a new family, she is entering a whole new world. As theatre artists it is our challenge and our responsibility to present a musical theatre experience that is new for every performance. With the tremendous talents and abilities of our 2016 company, you can be certain that the Anne of Green Gables experience our audiences enjoy this summer is brand spanking new!”

Anne of Green Gables plays select dates until August 27. Confederation Centre wishes to recognize CIBC as the returning title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival. The Centre also acknowledges the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.

From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary

The Charlottetown Festival is hosting a special play reading on Thursday, March 24, at 7:30 PM in the Confederation Centre Art Gallery to mark World Theatre Day.

The free public reading is of Stories From the Quilt, directed and adapted by Marlane O’Brien from the story collection, as well as And My Name Is…Stories From The Quilt by Island writer, Margie Carmichael. The animated play reading will feature O’Brien, Artistic Director Adam Brazier, Donnie MacPhee, Melissa Mullen, Julie Pellissier-Lush, and others.

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Stories From the Quilt follows four short stories focusing on ordinary women with extraordinary skills, gifts, and strengths. They live next door or far away, shadowed by fear or absence of recognition. Each of these Island-centred tales balances humour and pathos, featuring a different lead – Tansie, Anna, Flora, and Olivia – and exploring themes of survival, forgiveness, and renewal. Led by O’Brien, a long-time Charlottetown Festival favourite, the script was workshopped last summer as part of the Festival development series with a group of notable performers from across Canada, including Jay Davis, Bruce Dow, Natasha Greenblatt, and Jan Alexandra Smith.

Created in 1961 by UNESCO, World Theatre Day is marked annually by theatre communities worldwide. It celebrates the power of theatre as an indispensable bridge-builder for mutual international understanding and peace and promotes and protects cultural diversity and identity.

Lights! Camera! Island!

What do you get when you mix famous film stars with local PEI yokels? Why, heartwarming chaos, of course, at the Harbourfront Theatre. It’s Lights, Camera, Island!

The Harbourfront Players have a brand spanking new comedy to present to you in March. Written by Island playwright, Karen Slater, and directed by Marlane O’Brien, this hilarious play about famous film stars shooting a movie on Prince Edward Island has the locals reeling and one of the stars wishing he were back in the big city.

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Starring an ensemble cast, featuring some favourite Harbourfront Players’ actors, and mixing in some new faces, Lights, Camera, Island! will have you rolling in the aisles and wiping away tears as Elroy, Leroy and Dexter utilize their Island charm to try to woo the film’s star, Eva Linguini, while the local women can’t contain their excitement over the charismatic male idol, Jacques Dubois.

Shows March 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 7:30 PM and March 6 at 2 PM. All tickets are $15.00.